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12 Paul: Hellenistic Philosopher or Christian Pastor?

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Chapter Summary

Born in Tarsus, an important Hellenistic university city of the day, but educated on both the secondary and tertiary levels in Jerusalem (Acts 22:3), Paul was exposed to both, and interpreters have tended to view him from either a Greek or Jewish perspective. In this chapter, the author wishes to comment on the Greco-Roman side of Paul, without thereby implying that it offers us the keys to unlock all the mysteries surrounding this enigmatic figure. The author notes some of the similarities, but then stresses the function to which Paul put what he had received from the moral philosophers. That function is essentially pastoral, and Paul's adoption, and sometimes adaptation, of the philosophical tradition, reveals to us his awareness of the philosophic pastoral methods current in his day.

Keywords: Christian tradition; moral philosophers; Paul

10.1163/9789004256521_014
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